As payback for the oral he’d done for me before, Bad Boy manipulated me into giving my first blowjob. He pushed and pushed, and I eventually gave in. It was in his car, on a muddy dirt road outside of town. Afterwards, we had to turn the car around and we ended up getting stuck in the mud, so I got home quite late, and my dad was pissed off and waiting to have an argument with me when I got back. Fun times.
Things got weird(er) with Bad Boy and I started to not recognize myself. During the summer, we had a major fight and ended up half-dressed and shouting at each other in the street. I had always been bookish and reserved (still am). What the fuck? He made me crazy.
Sometimes when I was with him I got upset and frustrated. I don’t remember what would set me off, but I’d feel like I wanted to say something or do something but I was frozen, like all the words piled into each other at the back of my throat and none could get out, or maybe there just were no words. I was thrumming with trapped energy and frustration, feeling overwhelmed. To bring myself back to my body and sensations that I could manage, I’d usually punch a wall. One time when I was already worked up, he said my behavior embarrassed him. That only increased my frustration and explosive emotions. (We were out and there was no wall. Things might have taken a different trajectory if I’d punched him.) I’ve never had this kind of interaction with any other boyfriend before or since.
For a long time, I felt like I needed to be with someone, but at some point I started feeling like it had to be him. That was new. And weird, because I wasn’t actually that happy being with him. It was almost like an addiction.
Around Christmas, I ran into Dude (remember him from that New Year’s Eve party?) and we hung out a bit. He came over and we sat on the couch and talked. He started to put the moves on rather aggressively, so I backed away and told him I had a boyfriend, but he wasn’t deterred. (He should have listened to and respected my words, but now I wonder if my doubts about my relationship with Bad Boy made me sound unconvincing.) Dude insisted on kissing me, at which point I pushed him away. It wasn’t pleasant but at least he got the message, backed off and left.
I’d had a birthday recently and was now legal drinking age. My interest in drinking immediately waned; I suppose most of the appeal was the rule-breaking. Then I found out that an acquaintance was doing acid and suddenly that seemed like a great idea. Bad Boy helped me source it and was there when I dropped for the first time. Once (the first time?), he wanted to have sex but I didn’t and told him no. He said I wouldn’t remember it, and I gave in. Well, I remembered everything, including the fact that I didn’t want to and I didn’t enjoy it.
(Years later, I learned that it was sexual assault because intoxicated consent isn’t valid consent. I felt shitty about it all over again: I’m now a victim, a statistic. I agonized about whether to report it but never bothered, and now I know it would never have gone to trial anyway. I’ve come to terms with it all, at least.)
I dropped acid 4 times in the space of 5 weeks because suddenly I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do on a weekend, which freaked me out a little. I felt trapped — not really by the relationship (although that must have been a big part of it), but by life generally.
I also got sick: I developed a bunch of canker sores all over my tongue and the inside of mouth. I could barely eat because everything was either too sharp or too acidic, and I could barely talk because the feeling of my tongue against the inside of my mouth was too painful. The doctor never did figure out what it was. I wonder if it was from stress.
Eventually, Bad Boy and I decided to take another “break” though we continued to hang out sometimes. For a while, I fully expected that we would get back together, but we never did. That was a bullet dodged, but I wasn’t out of the woods yet.